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RE: Ironic accessibility

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 10:42:24 -0500
To: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, "Vincent Flanders" <vincent9@gte.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENIEIJCPAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

Just for fun, I tried to validate theri page at the W3 validator, and
received the following:

Fatal Error: No DOCTYPE specified!
I could not parse this document, because it does not include a DOCTYPE
Declaration. A DOCTYPE Declaration is mandatory for most current markup
languages and without such a declaration it is impossible to validate this

I guess that it might not be accessible to alternative devices either...

Al suggests (below) that accessible means "usable by people with
disabilities".  With all due respect, if we continue to try and sell that
message we will never get ahead.

Might I suggest instead that we say:  "Accessible to any user regardless of
what type of technology they may be using.  This includes, but is not
limited to, cell phones, PDAs, and various types of adaptive technology used
by some people with disabilities."  It comes down to ROI, not humanity I'm
afraid.  One of the best "tricks" I use is to employ a cell phone emulator
to review a client site... the suits get that way more than they get JAWs.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Al Gilman
> Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 10:27 AM
> To: Vincent Flanders; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Ironic accessibility
> At 05:44 AM 2002-12-11, Vincent Flanders wrote:
> >Somebody submitted this as a candidate for the Daily Sucker --
> >http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/dailysucker/. As the e-mail stated, "The
> >irony... A company advertising 'accessible web design' services in an
> >all-image page."
> >
> >Discuss amongst yourselves.
> >
> >http://www.zylex.com/Access.htm
> 1.  'Accessible,' doesn't mean what we think.
> In the first instance, one has to realize that when this page talks
> 'accessible' it is using the word in its common sense - "readily grasped"
> and not the code meaning we use the term for - "usable by people with
> disabilities".
> The good news is that anyone knew the second meaning well enough
> to submit this page to the gripe collection.
> As an advocacy community we should get used to the fact that we will never
> own the first meaning of the term 'accessible' and that we will always
> have to explain our terms before we use it by itself to mean "by
> people with
> disabilities."  Forever.  Get over it.
> 2.  This page is inaccessible by any definition.
> The irony here is that even taking Zylex on their own terms, they
> don't get it.
> Zylex are hoisted on their own petard.  What they do belies what they say.
> Immediately on load, without reading anything or navigating anywhere.  You
> get the -NOT before the claim.  They talk the talk of effective
> web design, but
> even as they talk they can't seem to get it together to put their
> own message
> across.
> The main title of this page, "Accessible Web Design," is quite illegible
> because of the 'arty' use of the white text in a funky font overlaid on a
> strongly busy image.  Theory 1, Practice 0.
> Zylex are all briefed up on the buzzwords: "recognition vs.
> recall" etc; but
> they don't understand the nuts and bolts of usable graphic communication.
> The slanty question marks on "Who are we?" and "Why Zylex?" jar
> the eye and
> break the flow of the composition.
> Even the central metaphor, the symbolic value of the grapes in the
> background, is broken.  Accessible means readily grasped, but the view
> of the grapes is too close to the subject for one to feel they are readily
> grasped.  It looks as though it would be hard to get your fingers
> around an
> individual grape in that mass, and likewise hard to get to a stem
> where you
> could pluck off a handfull.  A cliche association of the concept 'grapes'
> supports the desired theme; but the actual visual experience presented
> doesn't.  If you're not a groupie of conceptual art, you won't
> get the message.
> The overlay on this image exquisitely portrays the predicament of
> designers
> who have Heard the Word but haven't grasped it.  Wry justice!
> 3.  But the example is tired, not worth special mention.
> I wouldn't take this submission for the sucker of the day.  This level
> of incompetence is, in today's world, commonplace. YetAnother SameOld.  It
> is just not exceptional enough to be an eye opener for your visitors, or
> unexpected enough to bring those who spend a moment with it back
> to your "of
> the day" service for another hit later.
> Their "optimize the user experience" accessibility is on a par with their
> "for people with disabilities" accessibility -- missing when
> needed.  But not
> in any entertaining way.  Their dismal achievement level is
> merely dismal, not
> attaining the poignancy to make it cathartic.  So pass on this one.
> Al
> >Vincent Flanders
> >
> >Order "Son of Web Pages That Suck" at
> >http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0782140203/ref%3Dnosim/vin
Received on Wednesday, 11 December 2002 10:43:23 UTC

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